Finding my fit
Caroline Bingham visited Pretty Woman, a specialist lingerie and swimwear shop located on Seaview Street, Cleethorpes, for a bra fitting from Julie Sutton.
The timing could not have been better. I was in need of a couple of new bras, my old favourites were becoming tired and too loose so this would give me not only a chance to look around the seaside town but also restock my lingerie drawer.
Seaview Street is home to a boutique range of independent shops offering a wide choice of fashion, childrenswear, beauty and hairdressing services as well as gift and interiors stores, cafes and bars. Pretty Woman is located at number 33, right at the centre of the bustling thoroughfare.
Owner Julie Sutton will probably be a familiar face to many Lincolnshire Life readers, as she previously owned the Forbes store in Louth. Julie bought the business five years ago and is assisted by Liz Chapman, also an ex-Forbes employee, as well as two other staff.
“There has been a shop on this site selling lingerie since the 1920s,” Julie told me, “so I feel rather like a custodian of the business.” The shop is packed with a wide choice of quality brands catering for all customers needs including teenage, maternity and mastectomy bras and sizes up to K cups. The shop specialises in lingerie and has an extensive range of swimwear, both cup sized and dress sized. I had not had a bra fitting for several years so that was the starting point.
I was in good hands. Pretty Woman has recently won a nationwide competition, ‘Find Your Fit’, coming top from customer nominations among UK independent lingerie shops for the quality of their fitting and service.
It is easy to feel self-conscious entering the changing room but Julie was very good at putting me at my ease. I took off my top, keeping my old bra on. Julie came and took one measurement around my rib cage and her expert eye estimated my cup size. I had been wearing a forty-two inch bra with a DD cup but Julie said my size had been overestimated so brought me a selection of 38s with FF cup sizes.
Julie left me to swap into the first bra but came back to help me with shoulder strap length and advised how to check that all the breast tissue is accommodated in the cup. It is true that a correctly fitting bra can give you back your waist and shape. I decided finally to have a G cup to prevent slight ‘overspilling’ on one make – but otherwise perfect.
I asked Julie what are the benefits to a bra fitting by a specialist like herself?
“A correctly fitting bra can help to prevent neck ache, back ache and bust ache, especially for larger ladies. Posture will be improved which makes clothes fit better and people can feel more confident in their appearance. We fit every bra which we sell in the shop, to make sure we offer a fitting unique to each person.”
Julie has an active Facebook page called Pretty Woman Cleethorpes where she regularly broadcasts live videos about bra fittings. I bought two very prettily designed bras by Elomi and Julie told me that my purchases should be treated like new shoes and be given chance to be worn in. I have listened to that advice and they are already adapting to their new owner very nicely!
Pretty Woman, 33 Seaview Street, Cleethorpes DN35 8EU
Tel: 01472 695924
Facebook: Pretty Woman Cleethorpes
Brands: Panache, Wacoal, Fantasie, Elomi, Freya, PrimaDonna, Chantelle, Lepel, Hot Milk, Empreinte, Triumph, PrimaDonna Swimwear, Moontide and Seafolly.
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